Originally Posted by Stillhart
Okay, my search-fu has failed me. You guys are my best hope!
I got my Modi and SYS tonight. I setup the SYS to switch between the Modi and the RCA out from the SB Omni. This lets me A/B to hear the differences. I figured out how to make the SPDIF Out the default device in Windows so that my Winamp and games and such output to it. So far so good.
So my issue is that when I'm using the SPDIF output from the sound card, the SBX Studio stuff (including virtual surround) doesn't do anything. If I swap the default back to the Speaker Out (RCA), the SBX stuff works fine.
Now I know there's supposed to be a way to get this working and I feel like there's something obvious I'm missing. Can someone help?
BTW, really enjoying the Modi for music.
I've been tinkering about with the Omni the last week or so, as I was having problems similar to your. You can read the original posts about my experience in the Sound Blaster Z/Zx/ZxR thread. Fair warning, I have problems being coherant, so I appologize if it's hard to understand.
As you noticed, SBX effects don't work properly with optical. I know of two solutions to this, but there may be more. Give one a try and see if it helps.
One involes using the "What U Hear" recording device. Make the Omni (analog) the default device, open the "What U Hear" device properties and check "Listen to this device" and select the Omni SPDIF out device. The only problem with this solution is you cannot listen to discrete surround channels without SBX. I have multichannel music (quads, DVD-A, SACDs) and movies that I don't like with SBX on, so I don't use this method.
For the other, just stick something in the headphone port. This does not have to connect to anything, a 3.5mm adapter plug is what I use. This forces the driver to use a "headphone" mode that processes SBX properly. I have no clue as to why this works, so I think it's just a "feature" (bug) since Creative is known for their amazing driver software.
In anycase, the control panel should be set to "headphone" and set the Omni's analog device in windows, not the control panel, to 5.1.
When using optical out the difference between using or not using this headphone port trick is night and day.
I've been playing with having Dolby Digital Live encoding enabled, or not, while using SBX. The soundstage is definetly larger when enabled compared to when it's disabled, but they both have different imaging/localization. I don't know which is the correct result. I assumed it was DDL disabled was correct since you'd think the game sends 5.1 to the card, and then processed and mixed into stereo instead of a DDL 5.1 compressed signal.